Question: Making ink from petrochemical pollution?

hchalew is asking a question about general
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by hchalew | February 05, 2020 21:20 | #22682

I'm artist living in New Orleans, and my artwork explores climate change, the fossil fuel industry and the future of the Louisiana landscape.

I source my materials from the environment, including making my own paper and ink. I'm wondering if it might be possible to somehow distill particulate matter from petrochemical pollution in areas like Cancer Alley, to create an ink from. There is a company in India that works with diesel pollution to create an ink, and am curious if an ink could be produced to help visualize the pollution in this region and be used to create artwork to bring awareness to these issues.

I'm working on a grant to partner with a scientist to work on this project, if anyone knows of anyone who might be interested in working on this with me, please send me their info. Thank you


Just talking to our education manager about your idea, she suggested possibly setting up long strips of sticky tape and using acetone to remove the particles from the tape, then distilling that solution (though I'm not sure how difficult, safe, or practical that might be).

I was also thinking that large panes of glass might have enough static electricity to collect particulate matter that could easily be wiped off. You'd probably end up with more car exhaust and brake dust than anything.

This is a suggestion, only. I worked in the polymer industry for many years. This included rubber chemicals. One of the chemicals commonly used as a reinforcing agent and coloring agent in rubber is carbon black ( or a variant like furnace black). A lot of the processes discussed in the Indian company's brochure were similar to what we tested for in carbon black.

Maybe it would be good to investigate some carbon black proceeses? One company used to be Continental Carbon. And the Astm and I so had a number of test methods for carbon black ( particle size, surface area, etc.).

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